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Y Combinator's W22 intake: Meet the European startups - Sifted

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Y Combinator, the famed American startup accelerator, is continuing to bring in a substantial number of European startups.

17%, or 72 founders, in the latest batch are from Europe. That’s just one less from summer 2021,  when it was the highest percentage yet in its 15+ year history. 40 of the companies are from EU countries.

YC has been bringing in more startups from Europe since it doubled its intake after being forced online during the pandemic in 2020. It takes on two cohorts each year. 

There’s more capital available for European startups than ever and founders continue to debate the programme’s worth, especially since YC announced plans to take more ownership. But for many European founders, the network and YC “stamp of approval” are worth the effort and the equity

And there’s more international investor interest in European teams after successes like Adyen and Spotify.  

Asia has seen the biggest jump, with 78 startups selected this cohort, compared to 54 from the last, while South America has seen a slight dip with 19 startups, seven less than the last cohort. 

Here are the European startups publicly announced ahead of the Y Combinator Demo Day on March 29-30:

B2B

  • iomete — Dutch startup iomete has built data infrastructure to help data engineers do their jobs. By centralising all the vendor solutions that are currently in the market, iomete aims to help data engineers save time and cost by including a multitude of services onto one platform.
  • Speechly — If you’ve guessed that Speechly has something to do with, well, speech, then you’re correct! The Helsinki-based startup uses natural language processing technology to create voice interfaces for professional tools and services — like websites and ecommerce platforms.
  • Flagright — This Berlin-based financial crime fighter has built an application programming interface (API) to help businesses carry out risk profiling and transaction monitoring. 
  • CUTR — Tapping into a $1.4tn(!) woodworking market, Amsterdam-based wood manufacturing marketplace CUTR gives customers easy access to buying wood parts, including sourcing, pricing, payments and workflow. 

Biotech

  • Phase Biolabs — Based in Nottingham, Phase Biolabs enables businesses to capture their waste CO 2 and turn it into carbon neutral chemicals and e-fuels. It’s a similar fermentation process to that used in making beer and wine.

Cybersecurity

  • Sarus — French startup Sarus has built a data infrastructure which lets practitioners work on data they cannot see, helping them to save time building the compliance and data engineering tools they would otherwise need to protect sensitive data.

Ecommerce

  • GAVEL — Think of Twitch, but auction edition. Berlin-based GAVEL is a social shopping marketplace for people and brands to sell on livestreams. Founded last year, the startup has begun by selling collectibles like trading cards and comic books.

Fintech

  • Joe — Taking on BNPL behemoths like Klarna, Paris-based Joe has built an app which allows consumers to have flexible financing with any merchant in Europe without any technical integration needed. An interesting approach given BNPL competition is heating up in Europe
  • Pluto Markets — Danish startup Pluto Markets has built a social investing platform which promises a multiplayer listed equity investing experience supporting both fractional shares and zero-commission. 
  • Fuell — This Madrid-based startup built an expense management software that helps European medium and large-size businesses manage card payments and reimbursements.

Food

  • yhangry — First it was food delivery, then grocery delivery made its star debut last year. Could the next thing be bringing private chefs to your home to cook for you? That’s what London-based yhangry is doing (it also wooed Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke as an investor).
  • haddock — This Barcelona-based startup platform helping restaurants improve their margins by providing tools to help them control costs.

Healthtech

  • Whitelab Genomics — Founded in 2019 in Paris, this startup has developed an AI platform which aims to discover and design genomic therapies such as cell therapies, RNA Therapies and DNA therapies.
  • Oto — Tinnitus, hearing ringing or other noises in the ears that isn’t from an outside source, affects one in eight people worldwide. London-based Oto has developed an app which teaches users how to take control of the ringing by using clinically proven techniques.
  • Syrona Health — 45% of the globe’s workforce go through women’s health situations from endometriosis to menopause, UK-based Syrona Health’s platform offers employee health benefits to women, by providing personalised diagnostic, telemedicine and evidence based self-management tools.
  • ITCHY — Skin conditions are another category of health issues affecting 6% of the population — think conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Over in Sweden, ITCHY’s direct-to-consumer platform connects patients with dermatologists and doctors, and says it can provide treatment solutions within 12 hours.

HR tech

  • Quan — This Dutch employee wellbeing platform is aiming to fight against the Great Resignation. The startup is working with 12 organisations, over 1,000 paid users and has a platform engagement rate of 88%.
  • Bemlo — Hiring staff in healthcare is a lengthy process, with most hiring processes spanning across two months. Enter Bemlo, a Stockholm-based platform which allows hospitals to find nurses and doctors in two weeks, according to the company.
  • Tahora — Focused on improving company culture, London-based platform Tahora aims to let employees connect with one another by sharing interests and goals.
  • NudgeLabs — This Swedish startup takes employees’ biometric data, from devices like wearables, and offers advice on how to improve their work performance and personal health.

SaaS

  • AiSupervision — Based in Mannheim, Germany, AiSupervision is a platform that provides analytics on the work done by people in factory production lines. Some examples of its analytics include tracking productivity, automated photos and production reporting.
  • Brainboard — This French startup, founded in 2019, allows engineers to design and manage cloud-based infrastructures more efficiently.
  • Trackingplan — Over in Spain, data governance tool Trackingplan tracks data between sites and third-party integrations to identify patterns or anomalies. 
  • Subscriptionflow — Subscriptionflow, based in London, enables businesses to manage their subscriptions, with features including orchestrating subscription plans and automating recurring billing processes.
  • Supersheets — Another data engineering startup, Supersheets helps non-technical teams find, view and analyse their data without SQL.
  • Cerebrium — Want to use data and AI without faffing around with code? London-based Cerebrium has your back. With its library of pre-built metrics, dashboards, reports and machine learning models, it can identify business opportunities by analysing companies’ data.

Sustainability

  • Pina Earth — Munich-based Pina Earth has built a platform for forest owners in Europe to start carbon projects for their land.The platform includes tools which can be used to collect data, monitor and certify carbon forest projects.
  • Glocally — German urban last-mile delivery startup Glocally operates a fleet of cargo bikes, which it says helps retailers ship 20x faster than similar players in the market. Its delivery-as-a-service model can be integrated into ecommerce stores.
  • SmartHelio — This Swiss startup SmartHelio provides software that helps solar utilities automatically predict and prevent downtime disruptions. The three-year-old startup has landed deals with over 40 solar developers in Europe and Asia.
  • Aklimate — Aklimate is a carbon accounting platform focused on the supply chains of big companies. The London-based startup is aiming to reduce the 80% of emissions that are still locked up in enterprise value chains.
  • Seabound — Container ships are dirty business, spewing around 1bn tonnes of CO 2 into the air per year. London-based Seabound have developed carbon capture technology for large cargo ships, helping them to reduce up to 95% of their CO 2 emissions.
  • Verdn — This two-year-old startup, based in London, has developed an API which lets companies bundle sustainable pledges, such as tree planting, ocean-bound plastic cleanup, and coral planting, with any transaction.
  • Carbon Crusher — Refurbishes roads made of plant-based lignin instead of oil. This process removes the equivalent of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere from every 100 feet of road.

Transportation

  • Beyond Aero — Toulouse-based Beyond Aero has designed a hydrogen-powered aircraft which it says has a flight range of up to 1,000 miles.

​​ Connor Bilboe is Sifted’s editorial assistant. He tweets from @connorbilboe and is the coauthor of our sustainability-focused newsletter, Sustain. You can sign up here.



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